A few months ago, my father invited me to join him on a Sailing trip. He was participating in the Marion-Bermuda race, which takes place every two years, and I was invited to meet him in Bermuda and sail back to Boston with him and the crew. This all sounded quite appealing and very glamorous, so I accepted the invite without thinking twice. Through this journey, I realized that yoga teachings came in quite handy in the midst of this adventure, so below I share with you what I’ve learned about yoga and sailing.
#1 Be flexible
The 50 boats that participated in the race were scheduled to leave Marion, Massachusetts on June 8th and they were meant to arrive in Bermuda around June 11th, when I was flying in. On June 12 I found myself in a 3-hour layover through JFK airport heading towards Bermuda, when I learnt that the race had been slowed down due to lack of wind, and they would not be arriving to until the 14 or 15 of June. This meant that I had to look for a place to stay for at least two nights and explore the island on my own.
#2 Let it go
Even though I felt a bit bummed not to see my dad, I quickly realized that Mother Nature was steering the wind and I couldn’t do anything but enjoy my time on the Island, even if it included going over my budget, as hotels and food in Bermuda are quite expensive. But hey,I was in Bermuda, and at the end of the day, it’s just money! So be flexible, change your plans and let it go…
#3 Cultivate awareness on the present and manage your expectations
Once the boat arrived I began to daydream about sailing back, I pictured myself in a situation similar to this….
But it turned out reality was somewhat similar to this…
Maybe I’m exaggerating, but reality was definitely somewhere in between 😉
#4 Find your Balance
Through our 4-day journey I found myself doing all sorts of maneuvers not to fall over, due to huge waves and strong winds that made the boat sway back and forth, up and down. At that moment tree pose, and half moon pose seemed like a walk in the park compared to showering and washing my hair with a hand shower on a 30 degree inclination, or chopping carrots without cutting my fingers off while the boat swayed back and forth.
#5 Look for your Drishti (your point of focus)
Even though I have been running around a boat since I was around 2 or 3 years old, I only experienced motion sickness for the first time when I was aboard this vessel. Thankfully, focusing on a still point on the horizon, helped me decrease the queasiness and settled my nausea. Never underestimate the power of the Drishti!
#6 Go with the Flow
Flowing both with the movement of the boat (not to get seasick or fall over) and the crew, became crucial to this adventure. When you are on board a moving vessel that is closely cohabited by 6 other beings, flowing in the same direction is crucial to get to the final destination.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you all have to agree 100% on everything. It just means that some times you will get your way, and sometimes other’s will get theirs, and there is nothing wrong with that. Knowing that the captain is the captain and everybody has to follow his orders, is as important as not taking things personally.
#7 Have Patience
I can’t stress the importance of patience in every situation, not only does it make the trip more enjoyable, it also brings great rewards. Sitting out patiently on the bow of the boat I was able to see the most beautiful turtle and the friendliest dolphins that came to greet us on this wonderful journey. So there you go, patience is a virtue!